My (non)dinner with Brian

Tony Bouza


“My Dinner with Andre” was one of my favorite flicks, so when I spied Andre Gregory in an abandoned Cape Cod pond parking lot, I rushed over and gushed my enthusiasm over his creation.  He guessed I was a professor and I had to dampen his reaction and explain I was just a bureaucrat.
In any event, the movie was a wonderful illustration of the value of curiosity, introspection and transactional analysis.
So, when a secretary called to ask if I’d have lunch with the new Minneapolis police chief, I happily agreed to do it.
Weeks before the event I was accosted in the lobby of my building by a guy alleging he was Brian O’Hara and was there for lunch.
I segued into an hour’s chat in the lobby with this eccentric, personable stranger.  How very peculiar that he’d seek the wisdom of former luminaries.  Personally, I’d rather have a tooth or two extracted than seek wisdom from “formers.”
And my impression?
Very favorable.
O’Hara struck me as experienced (with a history in law enforcement at all levels), educated (a master’s degree from Rutgers) and—most important of all—politically savvy.  Looked like a winner, but two cavils intruded.
One, he floated the notion of adding bloat to a distended body by adding still more brass to the ranks and, two …
I never quite fathomed how he saw the police union and how he’d deal with them.
Overall, I’d say he looks like a winner, and I hope Minneapolis hangs on to him.  Remember, the one predecessor I had any use for, William McManus, was hired away by San Antonio, where he served as chief for decades.
I held forth for an hour, and we never did get to eat, and I never heard from him again.
So, let us pray.
I’m sorry to intrude again, but the topic is irresistible.
Hasta la vista, baby!

[Editor’s note:  McManus was not reappointed after he tagged Mayor Rybak for letting his Prius crash into another car after he left it running.]


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